Monkeypox vaccine? What to do if you are affected

HEALTH – Arm yourself against monkeypox. From this Monday, July 11, the Government will expand vaccination against “monkey pox” to the “most exposed groups”, in particular homosexual people, trans people with multiple partnerspeople in a situation of prostitution and professionals in places of sexual consumption, regardless of the status of these places, prior opinion of the High Health Authority (HAS) to that effect.

In France, according to the latest figures, as of July 7, 721 cases have been confirmed, including 473 in Ile-de-France At the moment, the spread of the virus is mainly between men having sex with men (98% of cases in France).

In this configuration, the ARS (regional health agency) Île-de-France has announced the opening of new vaccination centers for contact persons. The new categories eligible for preventive vaccination “will be able to start making appointments starting next week, that is, this Monday, if they wish,” announced Jérôme Salomon, Director General of Health, on July 8. Press conference. The vaccine should ideally be administered within 4 days of the date of the last risk contact and a maximum of 14 days later.

  • How is monkeypox spread?

monkey pox (his name in English), remember the ARSIt has two modes of transmission. As with Covid, prolonged contact within 3 meters with someone who carries the virus can promote transmission due to droplets and respiratory secretions.

The other main mode of transmission is “close and direct contact with this person through skin lesions (wounds, scabs), body fluids (blood, saliva, semen) or mucous membranes (mouth, anus, natural mucus-producing orifices). )”, and contaminated. objects.

At this time, monkeypox is not considered a sexually transmitted infection. DNA from the virus has been found in the semen of sick people, but it is not yet known if this is enough to transmit the disease.

  • Early symptoms of monkeypox

This makes it particularly difficult rapid detection of monkeypoxthese are its first symptoms, which are very similar to those of the flu or Covid: fever, headache, chills, muscle pain.

Another particularly alarming sign is inflammation “of the glands located around the ears, in the neck and on the back of the neck.”

This first wave of so-called “invasive” symptoms appears after an incubation period “which can vary from 5 to 21 days (7 to 14 days observed on average)”. A fairly long period that can make it difficult to identify the polluting person. SPF also underlines: “Most of the cases investigated state that they cannot identify the person who allegedly contaminated them.”

  • When pimples appear

Monkeypox disease then manifests as pimples on the body, usually within one to three days of the first symptoms, he explains. Health insurance.

“The whole body can be affected, especially the palms and soles of the feet, the face and the scalp. Depending on the mode of contamination, these lesions can affect the anogenital region and the buccal mucosa.

These lesions evolve until they are filled with a liquid -particularly contaminant- before drying up. The health authority recommends covering the lesions with a bandage or cloth to avoid contamination.

  • Detection and treatment of monkeypox

If you think you have contracted monkeypox because you have been in contact with an infected person, because you have returned from a trip to an African country where the virus usually circulates, or because you have several anonymous partners -regardless of your sexual orientation-, contact your doctor or 15, who can then guide you. As a precautionary measure, isolate yourself.

After the medical consultation, a PCR test on a lesion will confirm that you have indeed contracted monkeypox. If this is the case, and you are within the vaccination period (up to 14 days after the risk contact), you can get vaccinated.

If you are part of one of the “most exposed groups” cited by HAS – “men who have sex with men and trans people who report multiple sexual partners, people in prostitution, places of sexual consumption, regardless of the status of these places” – you can make an appointment for preventive vaccination starting Monday.

Marketed under the name of Imvanex in Europe, the vaccine used is a 3rd generation vaccine (live non-replicating vaccine, that is, it does not replicate in the human body), authorized in Europe since 2013 and indicated against smallpox in adults.

“We are already in a position to meet the needs of the centers in the coming weeks,” assured Jérôme Salomon, without mentioning “the difficulties in accessing this vaccine.”

  • Roommate, partner… How to isolate yourself during illness

Once the diagnosis is made, you must register with the ARS, it is mandatory, and inform the people with whom you have been in contact since the onset of your symptoms. You also have to isolate yourself.

“You will have to wear a surgical mask and not have physical contact with other people, in particular maintaining isolation from other people within the home,” specifies the ARS.

In addition to the ventilation of the rooms, it is preferable not to share toilets or objects, or disinfect them with bleach in which case.

The duration of isolation is three weeks from the date of the first signs, but this period can be reduced to two on medical advice and if all lesions have disappeared.

The ARS has also distilled several instructions on the procedure to follow for cleaning your accommodation:

  • Keep debris, such as gallbladder scabs, in special garbage bags.

  • Vacuum dust and regularly wash floors and surfaces.

  • Wash clothes in contact with the body of the infected person, if possible at 60°C for 30 minutes with a regular detergent.

  • At the end of isolation: A careful cleaning of the home must be carried out, including surfaces, bedding, clothes and dishes.

  • Monkeypox complications?

Monkeypox remains an essentially mild disease with a case fatality rate of less than 10% in cases seen worldwide. However, serious cases can occur, “more frequently in children, pregnant women and immunosuppressed people.”

Social Security notes, however, that cases may require hospitalization. Particularly when monkeypox produces ENT or digestive complications, eye or lung lesions, or when there are too many skin lesions (more than 100) or in cases of superinfection of these lesions.

See also in The HuffPost: With the seventh wave of Covid, putting on the mask again in these places is a good idea

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